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Camden County police adopt new use of force policy

New policy focuses on stopping loss of life

By Nikita Biryukov, August 21 2019 10:31 am

The Camden County Police Department announced the adoption of a new use of force policy Wednesday.

“We have long trained our officers in de-escalation and force minimization, but we wanted a policy that reflected that training,” Camden County Police Chief J. Scott Thomson said. “I want to commend the Policing Project for its fine work here in assisting our department with shaping a progressive policy that enhances both public and officer safety.”

The new policy, which was drafted in cooperation with New York University’s Policing Project, centers around six core principles meant to reduce loss of life during policing activities.

Among those principles are ones requiring officers attempt to deescalate situations, use the smallest possible amount of force and promptly request or provide medical services.

“A robust use of force policy must do more than explain when and how much force officers can use: it must make clear that officers are accountable to ensure their fellow officers are following the rules,” Policing Project Executive Director Farhang Heydari said. “This policy takes a very strong stance on officers’ obligation to intervene in, and report, unlawful uses of force by any other officers, and to provide prompt medical attention whenever necessary or requested.”

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